Rethinking the J.D. As Artificial Intelligence Takes over Lawyers Work
January 5, 2016
The article titled Report: Artificial Intelligence Will Cause “Structural Collapse” of Law Firms by 2030 on Legal Futures posits that AI will take over legal practice in the near future. Jomati Consultants LLP released the report “Civilization 2030: The Near Future for Law Firms” which estimates that as population growth slows, legal work will be directed mainly toward the arena of geriatric advice and litigation. The article states,
“The report’s focus on the future of work contained the most disturbing findings for lawyers… By , ‘bots’ could be doing “low-level knowledge economy work” and soon much more. “Eventually each bot would be able to do the work of a dozen low-level associates. They would not get tired. They would not seek advancement. They would not ask for pay rises. Process legal work would rapidly descend in cost.” The human part of lawyering would shrink.”
The article goes on in great detail about who will be affected. Partners will come out on top (no surprises there) but associates, particularly those doing billable work rather than client-facing work, will be in much less demand. This may be difficult for the hoards of young law school students produced each year as their positions are increasingly taken over by AI technology. Time to rethink that law degree and consider a career path tailored to human skills.
Chelsea Kerwin, January 5, 2016